Yes, for those who've enjoyed anything else by Heinlein, specifically, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, & Farnham's Freehold as both deal much with social dynamics of small outcast groups. Citizen of the Galaxy delves into many sub-cultures, their interactions and attitudes with each other, and incredible character development.
I liked the minor character, Margaret - the Anthropologist - because of her outside perspective of the Sisu culture and her explanations to Thorby, the protagonist.
Baslim's Scottish accent bothered me at first because I felt there it was distracting to the story. However, I grew to enjoy and appreciate it.
Human trafficking and slavery never left our society, we just altered it and hid it so that it's existence was easy to deny by those who benefit from it.
I don't think there has been a Heinlein story I didn't enjoy however, I would have liked to have seen a better ending than this one, but who am I to challenge the master.
I purchased this book solely based on Millard's work in, The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey. This piece cemented my opinion of Millard as a truly great researcher and story teller. In both of her books, she's captured forgotten history that after learning, one can't imagine how they were ever lost.
James Garfield never comes to mind when people are asked to list Presidents of the US, yet the circumstances around his rise to the White House and subsequent work therein should be required for study in any US History class. Further the details of his assassination and inevitable death are worthy of a modern fictional mystery and crime story.
Charles Guiteau is worth a book on his own, yet Millard is able to cover the most interesting details of him in this account. Why Boothe and Oswald are household names yet Garfield's would be assassin would raise questioning eyebrows among US History Majors.
A great work that I highly recommend. I'm looking forward to the author's next pull from the broom closet of history.
I may have underrated this title's "story" rating, as I couldn't delineate King's political sentiments bleeding through the pages and the incredible story.
Normally I don't have a problem with authors' personal beliefs as the stories they write are a reflection of who they are, however this one is different. King asserts that the assassination of JFK, portrayed as just shy of deity, resulted in the escalation of Vietnam, MLK's assassination, and a really big stretch to GW Bush becoming president. If he can stop that assassination the entirety of the current world problems never would have come to fruition and our present world would be a utopia thanks to JFK's completed tenure and the resultant butterfly affect.
To be fair, this is my first King Novel. I absoluteness loved it. The detail, the imagination, the heartbreak with the obdurate past, had me emotionally tied to saving JFK as well, but King's "cri de couer" over JFK's death really tarnishes the novel.
The end of the book is where I really had the biggest problem. The entire story is about the butterfly affect i.e., how an action ripples through time and affects something else but really only observable through comparable time travel. King's afterword concedes that he wants to display the worst possible scenario if JFK survives 11-22-63, in order assuage liberal minded peoples' love affair with Kennedy's death. Within 24 hours a sizable earthquake occurs (directly related to Kennedy surviving the assassination attempt), intense seismic activity continues for decades, yet, somehow Bill Clinton still marries Hillary, he still runs for office but dies before he can take office, so Hillary becomes president. I don't know how King reconciles the intensity of the butterfly affect with major seismic activity but other things remain completely unchanged.
There are a few other examples of either blatant laziness by the author, or intentional political purveyance. Although his examples are bias, his analogy of a "harmonizing effect" of the different time strings is insightful.
Definitely worth your time, but be prepared to roll your eyes if you don't subscribe 100% to a liberal political leaning.
I really enjoyed this book, however not because of the book itself. Had I read this book, I may have lost interest. Although it is unique, funny and intriguing I became agitated more by the writing style than the codas that really have nothing to do with the story (rather an explanation of how the story may have come about), and believe I didn't care for those.
The writing style is clearly that of a script writer rather than that of a seasoned novelist e.g., he said, I said, he said, she said. However the author confesses that from the beginning by describing this mad, impossible world as an expression of his subconscious trying to overcome... "where was I going with this???"
For Trekkies, this book is a must. But the real treat is Wil Wheaton. Sadly every time I started the audio, I became overjoyed with emotion as I briefly thought I was listening to "Ready Player One" again.
This is not an awful book, it really is fun and imaginative, but my criticism is genuine and this wouldn't be a book I would want to listen to over and over again.
After listening to, George Washington: A Life, by Chernow, the logical follow up is this colossal book, that is 5 hours longer than the former. Alexander Hamilton truly was a genius amongst his contemporaries, all of whom we venerate with more esteem than Hamilton. His work lives on today (albeit in a hyperbolic state) with our government systems e.g., strong central government, national debt & formidable professional military. All of which Washington both agreed with and advocated for prior to his death.
This book gives an incredible account of Hamilton's life in full and well worth the 36 hours. While the time seems daunting, even a modest history buff will be unable to stop listening as there is simply too much incredible and interesting information about this man.
No man did more to advocate for our Constitution than A.H., No man did more to define what the executive branch was to become than A.H. No man (of the founding fathers) lived a life of more vicissitude than A.H. Truly amazing!
I honestly don't know why I never before picked up an Asimov book. Sci-Fi is far and away my favorite genre, but there's so much to read and so little time.
I chose this one because other reviewers claimed that while less popular, this is Asimov's best work. I'm looking forward to some of his other books, but am not in a big hurry i.e., his "best work" didn't capture me the way Heinlein's worst books do.
Eventually the philosophy emerged, but for more than the first half of the book I was disappointed by the paucity of insight regarding the consequences of cultural interference via time travel and the exponential incalculable effects of such.
The premise of the book is the Eternals' nanny state, "we know what's best for mankind's evolutionary path" and their manipulation of causation in order to calibrate the maximum desired outcome with the least amount of interference. This is about as deep, philosophically speaking, the book gets until the last 1/3 to 1/4, but I enjoyed in immensely.
A basic love story where the protagonist is bound by duty, but captured by love... more sensuality. Asimov's description of the girl, in her translucent outfit draped over perfect curves and her amorous personality, had me going.
Just like my review of Killing Lincoln, my biggest criticism is for O'Reilly as the narrator. However, I didn't mind as much with this reading... He must have read my review and worked on his harsh presentation.
This book is simply amazing. Again, as with Killing Lincoln, I'm amazed at all the false information taught in public education and all that wasn't taught. True to his word, Bill and Martin, present a historical account in a literary setting. Allowing the reader/listener to easily follow the story, the players, and the plethora of information. Encomiums are high for this celebrated leader of the US, but there's no paucity of negative information either.
Starting with his arriviste in his first election and culminating as the most popular president in modern history. Bill reveals JFK's gallantry in WWII, licentious behavior with the ladies, relationships with LBJ, MLK, RFK, role as warm devoted father yet dispassionate husband, equanimity during crisis and acumen as a leader of men.
However interesting, the book also delivers a munificent portrait of Jacqueline, the civil rights movement, and politicking. While these are significant to JFK, they aren't necessarily related to his death. I know it's a catchy title Bill, but if you want to write a biography on his life vice his death, choose a different title. This is not to say I didn't enjoy and learn from these aspects, but deflects from the integrity of the title.
The description and accounts of Lee Harvey Oswald intrigued me, almost more than JFK's infidelities which were probably the most memorable thing in the book (next to the actual assassination)
Thanks Bill and Martin, looking forward to... Killing MLK? Killing Regan (attempt)?
I'm always surprised to learn as much as I do when listening to non-fiction and thus, the impetus for my choosing the book. However, I was surprised at how much I didn't know and how much was false teeth about the man that we were all inundated with during our public education.
This book was quite long, 41 hours, but entirely worth it. My commute is only 25 minutes each way so it took me awhile to get through the book. But, there was never a time I thought, "this is too long and/or uninteresting." From the beginning through his death, Ron Chernow describes Washington's character, personality, mannerisms, thought process, bias, passion and personal philosophy as he evolved from European aristocracy to Southern Planter to Revolutionary to his arriviste with the continental congress and culminating with his inimitable leadership as the first president. However, through it all, what surprised me most, was Washington's Federalist leaning.
I think the logical follow up to this book is Chernow's biography on Alexander Hamilton as no other person plays a more important role in Washington's politicking than Hamilton. We as American's celebrate Jefferson, unabashedly, as the preeminent founding father (not including Washington) but fail to realize that Washington disagreed with much of Jefferson and his followers' views for the country, preferring Hamilton and the Federalists.
Be prepared with a dictionary in hand as the first hand accounts (journals and letters) used a far more sophisticated vocabulary than we use today. My favorite word, and apparently Washington's as well; Licentious.
This book is easily the fiction book of the year despite only having one shade of grey... Delorean grey!
You'll want to listen to this book over and over so that you can pick up all of the thousands of references. Then you'll want to listen to the music (2112), watch the movies (War Games), play the games (Pacman), and read the books (Hitchhiker).
This book is quirky and funny while portraying insightful self-assessments of the protagonist and his companions. I loved the character development almost as much as the novel plot and subtle and overt 80's references (some references are so elusive that 90% won't even know that it's a reference).
Immediately I found myself criticizing both the author and narrator (one in the same for this book). As an avid Dan Brown reader/listener I kept finding spots in the book where I felt Jonathan Cahn could have used some tutoring from that renowned story teller by giving more historical context as well as some character development.
I slowly realized that I was missing the point of the book and told myself to pay attention to the author's intent.
Jonathan Cahn is not a great author nor is he a spectacular narrator. However if you remember my self instructed review headline while listening to this book, you'll find the importance and relevance of this story. Thus my 3 star rating of the story and performance and the contradictory 5 star overall rating.
A previous reviewer opined about the illegitimacy of the correlations that Mr. Cahn has uncovered. That reviewer is in denial and also missed the author's message.
While I usually enjoy Bill O'Reilly's voice, and prefer it with his own books, I think this audio book would have been better with a professional narrator. Bill's tone of voice throughout the book was more of a lecture than a historical account. I felt the intensity of the O'Reilly Factor instead of the passion of his research.
Overall, I though the book was great and maintained the listener's attention. The book provides an appropriate amount of historical context unrelated to the actual assassination, that helps the listener/reader to understand the overall climate.
Bill described, in previous commentary, about the dryness of history books as a reason for an increasing lack of interest in American students' desires to study history. He set out to write a book that could maintain interest while portraying an accurate and complete history. I believe he accomplished this and I think you'll find the same.
Please don't let your animosity towards Bill or his show to dismiss his capability as a historian and writer.
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